Great Monasteries of Europe by Bernhard SchutzGreat Monasteries of Europe by Bernhard Schutz

Great Monasteries of Europe

byBernhard Schutz, Henri GaudPhotographerJoseph Joseph Martin

Hardcover | October 1, 2004

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This remarkable book is a comprehensive examination of the art and architecture of European monasteries, from early Carolingian examples in the eighth century to a modern structure by Le Corbusier in 1960, featuring an authoritative text and more than five hundred stunning, full-color photographs.

This unsurpassed survey offers a fresh chronicle of a largely overlooked subject and hundreds of marvelous images, many of them newly photographed, of more than 150 of the most interesting and best preserved monasteries in Spain, Portugal, France, Great Britain, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Italy#151;all of which are accessible to visitors. Here are unique views of the art and architecture of such treasured places as Mont St. Michel, a wondrous Benedictine sanctuary off the coast of Brittany, and the fabled pilgrimage site in Assisi founded by St. Francis.

In an insightful text the author describes the cultural heritage of each of the monasteries portrayed and provides an introduction to monasticism and to the various orders dating from the early Christian era to the present. In addition, the volume offers plans of the sites, a glossary, and a bibliography. Historians and collectors of great books of art history will be intrigued by this unsurpassed collection of photographs and fascinating account of the artistic glory of European monasteries.
Bernhard Schütz,a renowned scholar of medieval and Baroque architecture, is a professor of architectural history at the University of Munich and the author of Great Cathedrals of Europe.Henri Gaud, Joseph Martin, Florian Monheim, Antonio Quattrone, Ghigo Roli,andMarco Schneidersare all leading photographers of works of art.
Title:Great Monasteries of EuropeFormat:HardcoverProduct dimensions:480 pages, 12.75 × 10.88 × 1.76 inShipping dimensions:12.75 × 10.88 × 1.76 inPublished:October 1, 2004Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0789208296

ISBN - 13:9780789208293


Read from the Book

Excerpt from Great Monasteries of EuropePrefaceMonasteries are places for monastic life, havens for the renunciation of the world, for prayer and the eternal praise of God, for silence, asceticism, and obedience. A monastery is the architectural expression of a life ordered by strict rules. Because of the extensive real estate of the complex, a monastery could also be a self-sufficient, profitable economic enterprise that produced goods for its own use and for sale. This provided some monastic communities with enormous wealth over the years.Monasteries were essential to Europe's history. In the Middle Ages, and even into the modern era in certain regions, they were among the most important pioneering cultural institutions of the era following antiquity and the migration of nations, when the Occident began to form. Monasteries and their monks ensured that Christianity was introduced and established solid roots, forming the foundation for the entire culture. Education, science, and art were all the responsibility of the Church and were disseminated in the cathedral schools and, perhaps even more so, in the monasteries. Monasteries increasingly became institutions that supported the state: the body politic and the monarchy relied on them and even used them for administrative tasks and other royal services.Over the centuries monasteries yielded tremendous architectural achievements. It is scarcely possible today to sense how important these were, since what survives is only fragmentary, yet those structures and remains are still greatly admired. The monks almost always sought out charming landscapes for their settlements, and it is no coincidence that a brisk tourist trade has developed around monasteries throughout Europe, regardless of which period or order produce them.In art, too, there achievements was immeasurable, especially during the Middle Ages. As sites for education, science, and historiography, monasteries usually had several scriptoria for producing books and copying ancient and modern texts, thus employing bookbinders, calligraphers, and miniaturists. Many complexes—for example, Tours, Reichenau, and Fulda—were famous schools for book illumination. Calligraphers and painters were held in such great esteem that they were entitled to include their names, or even their portraits, in the codices they prepared. Some monasteries maintained workshops for sculpture, painting, and highly specialized branches of metalwork, ranging from gold work to large-format chased or cast objects, as was the case in Helmarshausen an der Diemel, for example. Nunneries cultivated the textile arts.This book is not intended as an assessment of the spiritual life of monasticism—that would be its own theological theme—but primarily it's architecture and, in a few selected examples, its art. The text summarizes the history of various orders and presents illustrations, descriptions, and historical background of the important monasteries in order to present the beauty and the variety of the buildings. This picture, however, is necessarily fragmentary, since of course not all monasteries could be included, and in many cases little more than the church survives of the original grounds. Those examples have also been represented here, however, since the church was always the monastery’s most important building. This overview is limited to those countries in Europe where the sphere of activity of the Roman Church was significant and is generally organized by region or country, and then, geographically. The organization differs somewhat in the chapter about Central Europe as this area was once dominated by the Holy Roman Empire, and it seemed more relevant to reflect cultural history rather than current political designations. The Counter-Reformation orders—the Jesuits, for example—have been left out because they were not monastic orders, thus their settlements were not monasteries in the strict sense.The state of monastic architecture today varies widely among individual European countries. In England, due to the ecclesiastical policies of Henry VIII, nearly everything lies in ruins or was destroyed entirely. France, the center of monastic culture during the high Middle Ages, still has the greatest density of important monastery buildings from the Romanesque to the Gothic, despite the damage done during the French Revolution. Monastic culture in Spain and Portugal, developed only after the Reconquista (the reconquest from the Moors) and in a late period, increasingly tended toward richness and splendor. In Italy the picture is very uneven, but in general, the emphasis was on decoration, such as fresco cycles. In the countries of the Holy Roman Empire—Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, and the Czech Republic—monastic culture ended abruptly with the Reformation. In the Catholic regions of Southern Germany and in the Habsburg lands as far east as Poland, however, monasteries experienced a unique late flowering that did not take place elsewhere in Europe. Except for several examples, the modern era is not covered in the sections on the other European countries.MUNICHBernard Schütz

Table of Contents

Table of Contents fromGreat Monasteries of Europe


The Early Period
Anchorites and Cenobites; Pachomius and Basil; Early Western Roman Monasteries; Augustine and Cassian; Benedict of Nursia and the Benedictine Rule; Cassiodorus; Irish, Scottish, and English Monasticism; Columban and Monasteries on the European Continent; The Missionaries of Germania and Boniface

The Monastic System in the Carolingian Period
Early Large Monasteries in France; Benedict of Aniane
Carolingian Monastic Architecture; Monastery Donors and Proprietary Monasteries; Exemption and Immunity

The Great Medieval Reform Movements and Their Architecture
Cluny; Cluniac Influences;The Cistercians; The Hermetic Orders; The Carthusians; The Canonical Orders; The Religious Orders of Knights and the Hospital Orders; The Mendicant Orders

Monasteries in the Modern Period
Closure of the Monasteries and the Reformation; Counter-Reformation Orders; The Commendatory System; Monastery Castles; Enlightenment, Revolution, and Secularization; The Monastic System after 1850

Portugal:Alcobaça; Batalha; Toma; Belém
Spain:TOLEDO: San Juan de los Reyes; VALLADOLID: Colegio de San Gregorio; El Escorial; Las Huelgas Reales; Cartuja de Miraflores; Poblet; Santes Creus; Santo Domingo de Silos; Ripoll; Santillana del Mar; San Miguel de Escalada; San Juan de la Peña; San Pere de Roda;

Saint-Michael-de Cuxa; Serrabonne; Saint-Martin du Canigou; Fontfroide; TOULOUSE: Saint-Sernin, Les Jacobins; Moissac; Valmagne; Lérins; Sénanque; Le Thoronet; Silvacane; Paray–le–Monial; Conques; Vézelay; Tournus, Fontenay, Noirlac, Pontigny, Saint–Benoît–sue–Loire; Fontevrault; Saint-Savin; Royaumont; Ourscamp; Longpont; PARIS: Saint–Martin–des–Champs, Saint–Germain–des–Prés; Saint–Denis; REIMS: Saint–Remi; Jumiéges; CAEN: Saint–Étienne, Sainte–Trinité; Mont–Saint–Michel;

England:LONDON: Westminster Abbey; Romsey; Gloucester; Glastonbury; FOuntains; Rievaulx; Whitby; Furness
Scotland:Dundrennan; Melrose; Jedburgh

CENTRAL EUROPE (Former Holy Roman Empire)
Poland (northern):Malbork; Pelplin
Germany (northern):Doberan; Chorin; Jerichow; Königslutter; MAGDEBURG: Liebfrauenkloster; Walkenried; Gernrode; Quedlinburg; Paulinzella; Alpirsbach; Corvey; HILDESHEIM: Sankt Michael; Loccum; Heisterbach, Altenburg; COLOGNE: Sankt Aposteln, Gross Sankt Martin, Sankt Maria in Kapitol; Maria Laach; Eberbach; Bebenhausen; Ebrach; Comburg; Ellwangen; Maulbronn; Blaubeuren; Salem; Reichenau
Switzerland:Sankt Gallen; Einsiedeln; Müstair
Germany (southern):Ettal; Weingarten; Ottobeuren; Zwiefalten; Neresheim; Weltenburg, Rohr; Metten
Austria:Kremsmünster, Sankt Florian, Melk, Göttweig; Klosterneuberg; Lilienfield; Heiligenkreuz; Zwettl
Czech Republic:PRAGUE: Brevnov (Breunau); Kladruby (Kladrau)
Poland (southern):Krzeszów (Grüssau); Legnickie Pole (Wahlstatt); Lubiaz (Leubus)

Stuffarda; Vercelli; MILAN: San Ambrogio, Santa Maria delle Grazie, San Maurizio; Certosa di Pavia; Chiaravalle Milanese; Chiaravalle della Colomba; BRESCIA: San Salvatore#151; Santa Giulia, Santa Maria in Solario; VERONA: San Zeno; VENICE: Santa Maria Gloriosa Dei Frari, Santi Giovanni e Paolo, San Giorgio Maggiore; Pomposa; ASSISI: San Francesco; FLORENCE: San Miniato, Santa Maria Novella, Santa Croce, San Lorenzo, San Marco; Monte Oliveto Maggiore; San Galgano; Fossanova, Casamari; ROME: Santa Cecilia, Santi Quattro Coronati, San Paolo fuori le mura; SUBIACO: San Benedetto, Santa Scholastica; San Angelo in Formis (Montecassino); NAPLES: Santa Chiara; PALERMO: San Giovanni degli Eremiti; Monreale

Ground Plans
Illustration Credits

Editorial Reviews

“[I]t’s not the physical heft of the volume that packs the real punch here; it’s the erudition and comprehensiveness of Schutz’s text, combined with masterful documentary images from seven photographersGreat Monasteries of Europe is a scholarly work and it reads accordingly. But unlike monks, whose senses were to experience no pleasure but that which glorified God, the less tenacious readers among us can be shamelessly stimulated by the rich color plates that capture the magnificent and often moody spaces of another world.” — Shelter Interiors